ASPCA Responds to New Biden Family Puppy; Reiterates Tips on Finding Responsible Breeder

December 16, 2008

NEW YORK, December 16, 2008— In response to recent news reports regarding Vice President-Elect Joe Biden’s new German Shepherd puppy and subsequent reports that the Pennsylvanian Department of Agriculture just last week issued five warnings and two citations to the kennel operator where the puppy was purchased the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today reminds potential pet parents of some valuable tips for considering adding a furry family member to the household or when purchasing pets from a breeder.

“At the ASPCA, we are happy the Biden family has chosen to bring a new pet into their home,” said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Pets provide us with unconditional love, and I’m sure the Bidens will certainly find a loyal family companion in their new puppy. But we also want to remind people who are looking for a breeder, that for the health and well-being of the dog, they do their homework to find a responsible one.”

The kennel inspection report said that the owner of the Wolf Den Kennel in Spring City, Penn., failed to provide records for dogs purchased or sold, and failed to produce complete rabies vaccination records for her adult dogs. Warnings for maintenance and sanitation were also issued after inspectors discovered a strong ammonia smell inside the house where dogs were kept, poor ventilation, and broken wires and piping in some outdoor kennel areas.

Because there are homeless pets awaiting adoption in every community in the nation, the ASPCA strongly advocates that potential pet parents ‘make pet adoption their first option’ when considering bringing a dog or cat into their home. Local animal shelters offer many choices, whether one’s preference is dog or cat, small or large, purebred or lovable mutt.

Those who are committed to acquiring a specific breed of dog should first contact their local chapter of the breed’s rescue group or locate a responsible breeder. Responsible breeders are individuals who have focused their efforts on one or a select few breeds. Through breeding, historical research and ongoing study, mentoring relationships, club memberships, showing, raising and training these breeds, they have become experts in the breed’s health, heritable conditions, temperament and behavior. Responsible breeders are well-suited to educate and screen potential buyers/adopters and provide follow-up support after purchase or adoption. Most importantly, when considering a specific breed, please consider that responsible breeders do not sell their dogs through pet stores, but invite their customers to visit their facility and meet their animals in a comfortable and sanitary environment to guarantee the safety of their dogs, as well as take lifetime responsibility for the animals they have bred.

For the ASPCA’s tips on how to find a responsible breeder, and for more information on how to bring a pet into your home, please visit